Today they announced Jeff Verellen as the winner of the Aeropress World Champion 2011. The technique that I use I adapted from the winners of the 2010 competition and so I thought it might be interesting to discuss Jeff Verellen’s method.
Here’s the method (in bold, taken from the site linked above) with a few of my inputs (in italics):
Put the paper filter in the filterholder, wet it with hot water, let it expand and refit it.
Nothing too new here, most people recommend pre-wetting paper filters. The surprising thing though is that they chose to use a paper filter when they were allowed a metal filter. To me, the metal filter gives a better tasting result in general.
Screw it very tightly into a clean preferably pre-heated Aeropress
I haven’t really tried pre-heating my Aeropress, but I’ve seen this reccomendation before. I’ll give it a shot and see if it makes a big difference.
Measure out 17 grams of coffee and grind coarsely, bit courser than paper filter at the very last moment.
This is the exact amount I use, and I grind about the same as you would for a French Press.
Put the Aeropress non-inverted on the recipient.
This was surprising to me, although I guess when you have the paper filter you have a little extra leeway with the water flow.
Measure 270 grams of soft mineral water or filtered water and bring it to 80c.
Here’s another surprise, first off on the amount of water (it’s nearly 45% more than the 190 grams I use) but even more than that is the temperature of the water, only ~176F which is much lower than what I use.
Splash a bit of the water on the filter and directly after throw in the freshly ground coffee, as to allow the bottom to wet and expand a bit.
So you add some of the ~176F water to the bottom of the wetted filter. Since you’ve already pre-wetted the filter I’m not sure what this accomplishes unless they’re adding enough to be a buffer between the filter and the coffee.
Directly after wet the coffee by dripping or pouring very slowly all the grounds, about 40 grams
Yeah, it seems like they’re trying to do something like (filter->water->coffee->water)
After the coffee has absorbed the water, after about 30 seconds, start very slowly pouring the rest of the water, try to re-wet the coffee fully again, see that the grounds do not separate from the water, this can be done using a good kettle with small nozzle.
Nothing really noteworthy here, standard 2 pour procedure, although it’s interesting that they don’t stir.
Let the Aeropress steep and drip for about 1/4 way through or 1 minute.
This is pretty different. Not plunging at all, just letting it drip naturally. Kind of like a phin.
Press about 1/2 of the rest of the water through with the piston very gently.
Then you do the press...
Remove the press and the what is left – about 50 grams of water and throw away.
So you end up using 220g of water, which is only 30g more than I’m using so not that big of a difference after all. But it seems strange to throw away the last 50g of coffee concentrate.
So there you have it. To me the most surprising things are the discard step and the low temperature steep. I’ll use this method in the next couple of days (maybe tomorrow morning, I’ve got a few of the paper filters left somewhere) and see if I can tell a big difference in the coffee taste.